New Year’s thoughts…

Sometimes when reflecting on a year it’s easy to think about the things that haven’t quite gone to plan and all the things we want to set out to achieve in the new year. Yet, I have so much to be thankful for….family, friends, health, our lovely home by the sea, family holidays and lots of fun and laughter along the way! Happy new year mummies and daddies – if you’re out celebrating tonight, have fun! If like me, you are putting your little one to bed and praying they stay asleep so you can have a glass of fizz in peace…. then good luck! Xxx

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A new mum’s guide to sensitive skin… 


Ever since Madeline was a tiny newborn, she has suffered with sensitive skin. Eczema flare-ups and milk rashes dominated a large part of her first year, perhaps due to a suspected milk protein allergy. Whatever the cause, it is something that we as parents have had to adjust to. 

Madeline’s a delicate little thing and requires a little more TLC when it comes to her ‘beauty’ regime! I’m sure she will use this to her advantage in her teens when she requires mum and dad to fund all of her expensive high-end products! But, working out the products she can use, and those to stay clear of, has been quite stressful at times. It’s pretty much just trial and error. 

It’s always seemed to me that there is no real logic behind flare-ups. All I know is that if we had a wedding, birthday, holiday or special occasion, Madeline would have some form of skin irritation. Sod’s law. And, although I know it doesn’t really matter, always when there was a camera out or Maddie was meeting new relatives for the first time.

The night before we were due to get Madeline’s passport photo taken, she came out in such a sore rash around her mouth and I can remember thinking: ‘just what on earth are we doing wrong?’. It wasn’t just about the visible appearance, it really affected her mood and clearly frustrated her. All I wanted was for someone to provide me with a list of tried and tested products.

I know it’s not really that simple. Every child is different and I’m sure that what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. But, over the past year we have been in many discussions with doctors, private skin experts and parents of children with similar skin ailments and (touch wood!) seem to have cracked it. Madeline may always have sensitive skin, but at least we now have an idea of how to keep flare-ups at bay.

Here’s a round-up of brands and products that work well for us. Please do share any others that work well for your little munchkins in the comments below! 

  • Child’s Farm shampoo and bubble bath – bath time products seemed to be one of the first causes of Madeline’s eczema. Although marketed as suitable from birth, certain brands just didn’t suit her skin. Clearly labelled for eczema-prone skin, I picked up a bottle of Child’s Farm shampoo in Boots, gave it a try and haven’t looked back. It smells beautiful and leaves hair so silky smooth. We have also used the bubble bath (sparingly!) on occasions, which allows for lots of bath time fun without any aftermath soreness! 
  • Dermol 500 –  we were first introduced to this moisturiser by our GP (on prescription – bonus!). It’s a staple in Madeline’s skin care regime, which we also use as soap at bathtime, resulting in baby-soft skin – as it should be!
  • Burt’s Bees baby bee dusting powder  – this talc doesn’t dry the skin out too much and smells divine after Madeline’s bedtime bath. I just love it!
  • Hydromol – this product was first given to us as a sample when we took Madeline for a private allergy test. She had a very sore rash around her mouth, which is usually associated with milk protein allergy in babies. The results from the test came back inconclusive, but none-the-less the rash was very real and sore. Hydromol is an ointment rather than a lotion and acts as a barrier cream. I applied it constantly throughout the day, especially to protect against teething dribble and at mealtimes when certain foods may irritate. This product is a must and available on prescription
  • Hydrocortisone – for skin irritations that just won’t budge, this is a mild steroid cream that may help. A private eczema specialist prescribed this product to Madeline for a two week course until her rash around her mouth had completely disappeared. This meant we could gain some control of the irritation. It can be bought over the counter at most chemists, but pharmacists may wish to take a look at symptoms before allowing you to purchase. This cream should be used sparingly and only for a short period of time as it can thin the skin if used too regularly. Please also be sure to keep the cream away from your baby’s eyes.
  • Sudocrem care and protect nappy cream – luckily, we have never really suffered with nappy rash, perhaps due to this product. Unlike some of the others available, this is light, clear in colour and not too sticky, so it’s convenient to use for every change, not just at home but also when out and about. One to stock up on and have to hand wherever you and baby go! 
  • Aveeno moisturising cream – a wheat-based moisturiser recommended by many doctors and specialists. This all over body cream is applied to Madeline in the morning when getting her dressed for the day and in the evening, following her bath. I also find this works well as a hand cream for mummy!!
  • Weleda baby calendula body lotion – another moisturiser that works well for us and we have never had any problems with. It’s rare to find a slightly perfumed moisturiser that doesn’t immediately cause a flare-up, but used sparingly this has never caused us any issues and smells gorgeous.
  • Sunsense Kids factor 50 – I was so worried about applying sun cream to Madeline’s delicate skin and was recommended this product by a friend who’s daughter is also prone to eczema. It is a little thick and needs a lot of rubbing in, but lasts for up to 4 hours and is water proof. Definitely, one to purchase ahead of your travels. We bought from JoJo Maman Bebe.

I hope this helps some of you new parents out, especially as you’re eyeing up for purchase the vast number of baby products out there. Feel free to share your tips and recommendations too… I like baby to be well stocked up!! 

Keep going mummies. We are all just doing the best we can 😘 xxx 

An open letter to my 18-year-old daughter… 


As many of you have probably seen, Victoria Beckham has penned a letter to her 18-year-old self as part of her October cover story for Vogue. It really moved me and, although I felt she was a little harsh on herself at times, we were given a glimpse into her deepest thoughts and emotions, which I’m sure ring true for many of us.

I think we are all guilty to some extent of putting ourselves down and feeling just not quite good enough. I know that in 20 years time I could do with writing a letter to the current me, giving myself a good telling off for all the self-doubt I’ve been through this past year on my journey as a new mummy. But, in all truthfulness, what good would that do? We can’t go back in time, only look to the future. I can, however, write to my daughter at aged 18 and hope that she still listens to her mum as she matures into a beautiful young woman… 

Dear Madeline, 

As I sit here watching you play so nicely with your light up In the Night Garden Ninky Nonk train, I am filled with such love and have so many hopes and dreams for your future. I hope that Daddy and I have done the best for you throughout your childhood and given you the opportunities you need to succeed in life. 

We’ve discussed getting you tennis lessons, ballet classes and piano tuition over the next few years. We don’t want to be pushy parents but we want to open up avenues for you. More than anything, we want you to be happy and doing the things you love. 

I can’t imagine the world that you now live in. Even now, I turn on the news to see reports of unemployment, rising house prices, high university tuition fees, pollution, global warming, cyber-bullying, trolls and terrorists and worry what a world I’ve brought you into. But, even at aged one I can tell that you have an intelligent head on you and are strong-willed, with a fun-loving personality. Never let the world bring you down and grab the opportunities that come your way. If you remain true to who you are, you will do so well in life and make mum and dad proud. 

I know that you are going to be so beautiful as an 18-year-old young woman. I’m looking forward to having a best friend to go shopping with and share fashion and beauty tips with – I’m sure you will tell me off for being past it! But, try not to focus too much on outwards appearance, what’s inside is much more important. As Cinderella’s mum told her, have courage and be kind. I feel this is a good motto to live by. 

My darling, pray. Ever since I was a young child and my parents took me to church, I’ve always prayed. Not long godly prayers, just little moments to help see me and our family through. I’m no saint and certainly can’t claim to live by the book, but I’ve never gone without in life. In times of struggle, things have always worked out just fine. And, I was blessed with you, what greater gift could I have received?

If you’re anything like mummy, then you will be thinking about moving out by now, gaining some independence and finding yourself. I wonder whether you will be looking to move away to university or planning a once in a lifetime travelling trip. If you’re like Daddy, then you will want to stay a little closer to home, spending time with family and living with us until you are ready to move out and start your own family. I don’t mind as this way I will be able to hold onto you for a little longer. Whatever life choices you make, you have our support. We will always be there for you to offer advice and guidance… And, I’m sure money! 

I hope you have the most treasured childhood memories. I know mummy has had to work and can sometimes get a bit stressed out, but I’ve always aimed to put you first. Quality family time has been especially important to me. At the age of one, you’d already been on three family holidays and lots of weekend trips away. My days off may at times have been filled with housework, but I always tried to make sure that you have had nice mummy time too.

I’m not sure if you’ve grown up with brothers and sisters. I do hope so and I hope you are close. I’m sure there’s been some fights and arguments over the years, but friends may come and go, family will always have your back. Make time for each other as you grow up and love each other. Friends are important too… When you find a good one, hold on to them and laugh until your tummy hurts!! 

Madeline, love life. Go and spread your wings and be happy. But, remember, you will always be mummy and daddy’s little girl and we love you dearly.

All my love always,

Mum xxxx 💞